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Monday, July 15, 2013

Upcycling Old Candles and a DIY Gift (Monday Made It)

A long time ago, I pinned an idea for upcycling old, leftover candle bits into new, functional candles. (You can find the original tutorial, and her much cuter candles, here!)

So, the night before we picked up the moving truck, I decided to go for it- despite having a million other things I should have been doing with my time.

After all, I didn’t want to bother moving these candles, with hardly anything left… (Can you tell my mother-in-law used to manage a Yankee Candle store?)


There are also significant amounts of broken glass, because my husband has an amazingly bad track record with candles.


I’m telling you. REALLY bad.


We also had these. (The Juicy Melon one is a scent I would get again in a heartbeat, for the record.)

So here are the steps:


1) Boil some water.


2) Get out some candle wicks at a craft store. (If I were doing this again, I’d get longer ones to make taller candles.)


3) Get the candle wicks to stick to the bottom of the glass jar. I put three in each candle because I think it burns more evenly.


They wouldn’t stand up well on their own, so being the teacher I am, I used a trusty glue stick.


4) Put a jar into the boiling water and let the wax melt. This took 15-25 minutes for the big jars.


5) Pour it into the clean jar. Don’t worry- it will harden back towards its typical color. (This is what Christmas Cookie, usually a tan color, looked like all melted.)


Be careful of the sludge at the bottom and the old wick, though!

6) When this layer is hardened enough that the wax will stay in layers, you can pour the next layer on top. For me, it worked well to alternate between making 2 candles to give each one a little more time to harden.


Next time, I’ll either use smaller jars instead of recycling, or wait a lot longer in between- mine didn’t keep great layers! (I’d also try to think more about alternating colors for the *pretty* factor.)


I split my scents into groups that I thought would go together…


Autumn Charm (Pumpkin Buttercream, Cinnamon, and Spiced Pumpkin), Baked Deliciousness (Christmas Cookie, Buttercream, and Vanilla Caramel), annnd Fabulously Fruity (Juicy Melon, Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Dreamsicle).


They did get a little less layered looking and a little less smooth by the next morning.


Still, I’m pretty happy with taking ten-ish candles that were nearly done for and getting 3 new candles that will last a long time (and smell great)! Upcycling for the win!

I also managed a DIY gift a couple of weeks ago that I never posted about. It was a big milestone birthday for my grandma, so I made this:


It’s not perfect, but considering it was all hand-drawn, I think it turned out alright- and she really liked it! It was inspired by a Pin I saw, so if you’re interested in something similar, you may want to check out her Etsy store for a much better version!

I linked this post up to Monday Made It :)

On a side note… where the heck is our summer going? Is it really mid-July already? Yikes!


  1. Love the candle idea! Now I'll start saving them!! Good luck with your move :)

  2. I love the family tree! I think it looks beautiful!! I am inspired!!

    Bitty Bilinguals

  3. Oh I love your family tree. What a wonderful gift for your grandmother!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade


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